* Make sure your pet is microchipped and that the contact details are up to date. Last year only 28% of dogs coming into Battersea’s London site were chipped, making it all the more difficult to reunite them with their owner.
* Ensure your dog is wearing a collar and tag which displays your contact details. This is a legal requirement in the UK, yet only 2% of dogs arriving at Battersea have one.
* Take a harness with you so that your dog is kept safe and secure when walking in unknown surroundings.
* If your pet is on medication or has specific dietary requirements, make sure you take enough with you for the duration of your holiday. If your pet suffers from travel sickness, speak to your vet about some possible medication.
* Make sure all vaccinations, worming and flea treatments are up to date and take your vaccination record card. It is also advisable to look up the contact details of the nearest 24-hour emergency vet to wherever you will be staying.
* Take your pet’s favourite blanket, toys and bed which will have familiar smells on them.
* Take your cat basket with you for use throughout the journey.
* If you are going on a long journey, take plenty of water with you. Never leave your dog in a car during warm weather.
* Check that your destination is dog-friendly before setting off. For those thinking of taking a “staycation”, there are hundreds of pet-friendly cottages available from cottages4u (who donate 10% of each booking’s value to Battersea).
Battersea recommends that all owners have their pets microchipped, and if they are chipped, ensure that their address details are up to date. A microchip stores a unique code which links to an owner’s contact details on a national database which can be accessed by dog wardens and animal charities such as Battersea.
If you are travelling abroad with your pet, it is important to ensure that their vaccinations are also up to date. Amended regulations which came into force earlier this year under the Government’s PETS travel scheme mean that dogs, cats and ferrets coming into the UK will no longer face spending six months in quarantine as long as they meet certain criteria and have up to date vaccinations.